As the Church draws closer to the 10th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Rome on 22-26 June 2022, some short films are being produced to accompany the path of preparation for this event.

The Diocese of Rome and the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, which are organizing the Meeting, are releasing pastoral resources that can be of assistance for the Dioceses, movements, and associations in organizing events, reflections, and meetings in the local communities. The June appointment will take place in an “unprecedented and multi-centered” format, with local initiatives in dioceses around the world.

In light of these circumstances, the diocese of Rome has developed eight catecheses on the family, so as to give support for meetings held in the parishes around the world.

Each catechesis – all of which are already available on the official website of the Meeting www.romefamily2022.com – will be accompanied by a short video made by director Antonio Antonelli. The first of these, which is online as of Monday, is entitled “Giving a name”, and has as its protagonist a midwife in a clinic in Rome.

“The videos can help open up the discussion seeing they relate the personal stories of actual people,” explains Fr. Dario Criscuoli, director of the Center for Pastoral Care of the Family in the Diocese of Rome. “They are short films lasting about 8 minutes, in which couples or individuals living in Rome tell us their story. After having presented the area of the city from which they come, they all tell of the great beauty of their own experiences.”

Treasure of family life

These are “stories of people who often found themselves with rubble in their hands,” states Fr. Dario, “stories that are not easy, not always happy or error-free, but that are rich in inner and true beauty. Stories of people who seek the richest and deepest treasure of human life in family relationships, and who have found in these relationships not only the supreme goal of their existential journey, but also the starting point from which to go and help those who have not yet found that same treasure. Stories of a midwife, a student, an accountant, or a community of families who believed in a dream that seemed a distant mirage. People that tell their stories from the streets where they live in the neighborhoods of Rome: be it the ‘Prati’ neighborhood, or the basketball courts under the Marconi Bridge, or in a small villa in the ‘Casal Palocco’ neighborhood, or on a large agricultural estate along the Via Cassia. We took a peek through the peephole of their front door, to peer curiously at that ‘lit stillness’ to use an expression of the Italian poet Ungaretti, that living magma that moves and rebuilds and transforms every family, taking a look at it from different aspects.”

Stories of vocation and holiness

In fact, the series will speak of husbands and wives, of children and grandparents, but also of vocation and holiness.

“We will look upon such an everlasting model as is the Holy Family of Nazareth,” Fr. Criscuoli concludes, “and we will take into consideration the means that Pope Francis himself offers us to reach family happiness, that is, the use of three magic phrases: ‘Thank you’, ‘You’re welcome’, and ‘I’m sorry’. Knowing full well that no one is exempt from any of this, because no family is perfect, whether parents or children or siblings, unless we understand this term in its truest sense. Because family is the first place where we discover that being perfect or ‘per-fectus’ means being factus per, being made for someone, it is a school of love, hope, care and resurrection, as Pope Francis says. The place that guards that great and simple mystery which is the secret of everyone’s happiness: each making room for the life of the other.”

ENDS